Kasey Kahne promised a month ago to use momentum to turn his slumping season around.
Boy, has he delivered.
Kahne dominated yesterday at Pocono Raceway at Long Pond, Pa., for his second victory in the last three Sprint Cup Series points races. Counting his win in the All-Star race last month, Kahne has been to Victory Lane three times in the past four events.
And he should probably thank his fans for this season-saving run that's pushed him into championship contention.
Kahne's fans voted him into the All-Star event, and after picking up the $1 million first prize, he vowed to parlay the victory into a strong surge through the summer months of the schedule. Although he bobbled with a 31st-place finish last week at Dover, he owned the weekend at Pocono.
Kahne started from the pole, overcame an early pit road penalty that dropped him to 38th, and led a race-high 69 of the 200 laps in his Dodge.
"Never. I've never had a car that dominant before," Kahne said. "This one stayed the same all day long. It was so good all day long."
Brian Vickers was second for his best finish since joining Red Bull Racing at the start of last season, and Denny Hamlin was third.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fourth and appeared winded after racing more than four hours on the hottest day so far of the NASCAR season.
Temperatures hovered around 90 degrees all day, even after a brief rain shower halted action midway through the race.
"It's pretty hot," a red-faced Earnhardt said. "It's going to be a little hotter the next couple months."
Formula One - Robert Kubica grabbed his first victory and the series points lead after Lewis Hamilton made a huge mistake that took him and world champion Kimi Raikkonen out of the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal.
Defending race winner and pole-starter Hamilton slammed his car into the rear of Raikkonen's car in the pits early in the race, taking out both leaders and giving the 23-year-old Kubica a clear road to victory in his 29th F1 start.
It was a great day for the BMW Sauber team, sweeping the top two spots with Nick Heidfeld finishing second, well ahead of third-place David Coulthard.
IndyCar - At Fort Worth, Scott Dixon regained the lead a lap before a crash between his closest competitors and crossed the finish line under caution to win the Learjet 550k at Texas Motor Speedway late Saturday.
On the 222d lap, Dixon drove under Marco Andretti coming out of the third turn to get in front.